Where the purchase price of imported sugar included the import duty and the purchase price had to be reduced if the duty was reduced, the persistent claim by the seller for the unreduced amount was a repudiation and led to the lawful cancellation of the sugar contract.

Payment of the sugar contract was to be made against invoice. The invoice would be rendered on delivery and payment would become due on delivery.

The purchaser informed the seller on a number of occasions they had acquired imported sugar at a cheaper price because of a reduction in the import duty. The seller persisted in claiming the full price without reducing the price because of the reduction in duty.

The seller wrote to the purchaser that they expected payment of the purchase price stipulated in the sugar contract without reduction. That persistent conduct amounted to a repudiation of the sugar contract. The purchaser accepted the repudiation and cancelled the contract.

The purchaser was entitled to accept that the seller would not perform its obligations and was entitled to cancel the contract by acceptance of the unlawful repudiation.

The case is Starways Trading v Pearl Island Trading.